Who will be the drone pilots of the future?

Posted by Greg DePrez on Nov 7, 2018 2:08:41 PM

We've wondered where the drone pilots of the future will come from. Will they continue to be the solo entrepreneurs we've always seen in our monthly Aeon Academy Drone License classes? Or will more of them be employees of companies and agencies that sponsored their training to create an internal drone team?

So we looked at the trends in our own Part 107 license class training. In 2017, the first full year of drone license availability, 66% of our students were private or self-employed individuals. 34% of of our students were sponsored by an employer.

But in 2018, the numbers have swapped. This year, 35% of our students have been private, and 65% have been sponsored by their employers. These have included police departments, national science laboratories, construction companies, gas and oil operators, and even reality TV video crews (you can spot their drone shots on reality TV shows!). 


Photo: An Aeon Academy Part 107 Class Including Employees of a Jamaican Mining Company

We think the growing percentage of employer-sponsored Drone License students demonstrates that, as companies discover the critical value of drones to key internal processes, more of them will hire or train internal pilots who will handle company drone operations.

And yes - we are happy to help employee-sponsored students get their commercial drone licenses!


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This blog is all about helping you become a better drone pilot. With news, comments, and analysis on the latest drone trends, regulations, and events, we aim to keep you up-to-date and entertained. Learn about FAA Part 107, 101, and other important regulations and together we can create a safer world for drone pilots.

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